NAACP: Removing Bannon doesn’t change racism in WH
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The NAACP says it is pleased with the departure on Friday of former White House chief strategist Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin Bannon Ocasio-Cortez: 'I want to know about the racism' involved with census citizenship question CNN's Jim Acosta: Trump is 'crazy like a fox' BBC News anchor confronts Michael Wolff for using Bannon as a source for his book MORE – but his resignation doesn't remedy President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE's defense of hate groups.

"The NAACP is glad to see Steve Bannon out of the White House,” Derrick Johnson, the group's interim president and CEO said in a statement.

"Ousting one key staffer, however, can’t erase the words used by President Trump this week in defense of domestic terrorists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. President Trump provided permission for these hate groups to exist."

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Bannon, who left his role as executive chair of Breitbart News last year to serve as chief executive of Trump's campaign, was widely seen as a driving force behind the president's populist-nationalist agenda, and was accused by critics of pushing racist policies.

The NAACP also called on Trump to oust "the people who share Steve Bannon’s poisonous beliefs," including senior policy adviser Stephen MillerStephen MillerTop Democrats question legal basis for appointing Cuccinelli as temporary immigration chief Five memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Trump taps former ICE director to return as 'border czar' MORE and national security aide Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaWarren, Sanders, Booker urge review of Sinclair .6B acquisition of regional sports networks Katharine Gorka to be named CBP press secretary Gorka slams PBS children's show 'Arthur' over gay wedding MORE

Trump has faced mounting pressure in recent days to disavow hate groups after he appeared during a Tuesday news conference to equate white nationalists with counterprotesters who had turned out in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend to oppose them.

In that press conference, Trump also criticized those he called "alt-left" demonstrators, accusing them of violently confronting racist groups protesting the city of Charlottesville's decision to remove a Confederate statue from a park.

Trump's comments on the matter have reignited a national debate over Confederate statues and monuments and whether they should be removed from government buildings and public locations.